Higher U.S. exports of gasoline, diesel draining already-low inventories


A rapid rise in American fuel exports this year has had a hand in the record $5 a gallon gasoline prices, and is pressuring U.S. natural gas prices, which hit a decade high earlier this month.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, in recent months, companies and commodities traders have shipped more U.S. gasoline and diesel to Latin America and other foreign markets, reaping higher prices than the fuel could fetch domestically. They have also sent more liquefied natural gas, or LNG, to Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The jumps in fuel shipments abroad are further draining U.S. inventories that were already languishing at low levels after output cuts during the worst of the pandemic. Now, American oil and gas producers and refiners are struggling to keep up with resurgent demand.

While fuel exports haven’t hit records, they are trending higher than in prior years. Seaborne shipments of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel departing the Gulf Coast in March, April and May averaged 32% higher compared with the same three months last year, and 11% higher than the same period in 2019, according to market-intelligence firm Kpler. Read the full story.